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esophageal spasm?
I have been experiencing what I think is esophageal spasms. Symptoms are excessive spasmodic belching, discomfort in the center to upper chest area, almost like a knot. This becomes most pronounced during periods of stress.  I have been prescribed Prilosec which doesn't seem to relieve my symptoms. However, alprazolam at .5mg eases the feeling and it eventually goes away.  My question is then, is there such a thing as stress-induced spasm of the esophagus?
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Hi Everyone --
     I haven't been by in awhile & thought I'd check in.  Since last I visited, I had an endoscopy done, which for me was an almost pleasurable experience, since the drugs they gave me were so good.  I felt on top of the world & would damn near like to have another!  (Or at least get ahold of some of those drugs!)  Due to my symptoms, the Gastro. I saw was very concerned about Barrett's.  There was evidence of severe GERD, but no cellular changes (thank God), plus, he discovered a hiatal hernia, which surprised me, as the last upper GI I had showed no signs of one (he says in his opinion barium x-rays aren't very reliable).  At the time I saw him, the Prevacid had quit working, and I am now trying out Aciphex.  It's OK...still a lot of mid-to-right chest PAIN, up into throat, down arm, blah blah.  He says if the Aciphex does not help a LOT, I would most likely need surgery, and due to the fact that we just lost our insurance (had to give it up due to criminal doubling of the premiums.  Of course there was no concurrent doubling of benefits or service!), I am not too happy.  I also worry about the surgery itself (laparascopic fundoplectomy or something like that).  I told him I'd read on the Internet that this kind of surgery can make it impossible for a person to burp or barf, and after cursing the Internet and its spewing of "misinformation," he admitted this was true!  So, I'm just wondering if there is anyone out there who has had this kind of surgery, and how they fared afterwards.  If you can't burp, where does the air go?  Do you just bloat miserably?  And if you can't puke...what if you've ingested something toxic that your body NEEDS to rid itself of?  In actuality, I despise vomiting, but after feeling nauseated for a certain period of time, I know basically all you want to do is just heave and get it over with.  Would the inability to puke just leave you with a neverending rolling stomach, writhing and sweating on the bathroom floor?  I dread the thought of that!  If anyone can tell me anything (especially anything positive!), I would sure appreciate it.  Uh-oh, I'd better go -- it's after 1:00 AM and my little ones are up EARLY.  Best to everyone.
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I think I have esophogeal spasm, but it is directly associated with eating.  Sometimes, particularly with restaurant meals (hardly ever at home) I become aware that food is stuck in the esophogas, and it becomes quite painful.  It may stay there for hours.  Trying to eat slowly and just relax seems to help. My doctor has dilated the esophogas several times, but it is no help.  He is a specialist and says  one third of his patients have this condition, but he has been no help.  the drugs he has prescribed  are useless. A friend of mine cured his similar problem by  retiring, and thus removing the stress in his life.  Any ideas??  Any literature or links on this specific problem?
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I have had the symptoms of esophagel spasms off and on for severial years. I thought I had heart problems,but after many tests nothing was found wrong with my heart.  I noticed that when I was given antibiotics for some unrelated problem that I always felt better overall and never had any symptoms related to esophagel spasms.  Septra-DS tablets were by far the best. Some type of bacteria in my stomach is the suspected problem and as long as I take the Septra-DS I feel perfect and can eat anything anytime (I do take Prilosec daily) BUT if I stop taking the antibotics within 48 hours I will begin experiencing symptoms and will have a full blown episode within a week and feel as though I had aged 50 years.  This Web site was very helpful to my understanding of this problem, thanks!
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For Val who expressed concern about arrhythmia.  There is a new procedure used at the Heart Hospital in Austin where the area of the heart that causes the racing is "zapped" in a out-patient procedure.  This brings the problem under control with a high degree of success.

For Ida Lou who posted on Februaty 5, 2000 -  look up the following words on various medical web sites to get a better understanding of "nutcracker esophagus":

             esophageal spasms
             schotsky's ring (really)


For Tammy who posted on February 22nd.  -  Get another doctor!  Find a young one that is a specialist, a Gastroenterologist.

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Esophageal spasm. Mine are intense,unbearable pain, lasting 5 to 10 minutes. 15 minutes between spasms. Lasting 1 to 2 hours or more. They always end with expelling of gas and then watery stools. My theory was this... All of the gastric organs are operating on wave patterns that push food etc. through them. According to my GI doc, they are all on seperate waves.... so the stomach has three sets of seperate and distinct waves to empty itself, and then the small intestine has a series of waves etc.... I noticed that when I had an esoph spasm, my gut went silent,,,, for hours, until the passing of the gas and watery stool and the shazaam,, relief. So, as soon as I start to experience a spasm I use a glycerin enema and empty the colon. This brings an immediate end to the whole ordeal. It is unpleasant, yes, but nothing is as bad as those spasms. I believe that one of my organs, not the stomach because propulsid doesnt help in a spasm, must be shut down, causing a reverberation of the esophagus and a spasm (probably my colon). When I get the colon going,,, everything gets back on track and moving smoothly.  Note, I aslo have had my gallbladder removed and had an endoscopy and was found to have bile backing up into my stomach.... I take a cholesterol lowering pill which in turn absorbs my excess bile and I take 6 fibercon a day to keep things moving and soaked up. The pill is Colestid,, If you have had your gallbladder out it is a MUST. It has reduced my incedence of esoph spasm considerably. I am 34 and otherwise healthy. Hope I have helped.
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For all those with esophagus spasms and trouble with food going down and that feeling of the food being stuck in your throat, look into a condition called "Achalasia".  You can do a search on any search engine to find a few sites about it.  This condition is where the lower sphincter of your esophagus does not open up enough.  This happened to me and after a number of scopes and motility studies, they finally diagnosed my condition as Achalasia.  I had a balloon dilitation done which helped for about 2-3 months but then the pain and symptoms came back.  In Feb. 2000 I had surgery and so far have been about 80-90% better. For many it might be something worth discussing with your docs. It took mine awhile to diagnose it.
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I, too, have severe episodes of esophogeal spasm and the following have helped considerablY:

1.  Less time "mousing" on the computer (yes!... it really has made a difference!)
2.  An ice pack on the back right below the shoulder blades (mostly right side of the spine for me)
3.  Regular Chiropractic care (this has made the most incredible difference!  My Chiropractor uses the 'Activator Method' - call around and find one!).
4.  Nitro also helps as does naproxen sodium for acute pain episodes (Aleve, if you're American - it's over the counter).  If you're Canadian, it's by prescription (or worth visiting a drug store across the border!)
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So there is such a thing as esophageal spasms then.  My daughter was checked for this with an upper G.I. which came back normal.  Is it really possible to see if she isn't having one while being tested.  She explains it as being pain in the chest that burns and feels like pins and needles that expands and leaves her breathless for about 20 minutes.  She has had them for 5 years with no help from anyone.  It is really scaring me they seem to get worse and it doesn't happen after eating.  She can be lying down on the couch when one comes on.
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Finally! I know I am not alone.  I have suffered with food sticking in my esophogus for about 18 years. It has gotten increasingly worse in the last 5 years.  I've had all the test. I even had a Heart Cath. A year ago I had chest pains radiating to my jaw, went to the E.R. and they immediately thru me into the ICU.  I had elevated Cardiac Enzymes and the pain responded to Nitro under the tongue. The Cardiac Specialist was sure that I was having a heart attack.  Ran the Heart Cath and found nothing.  I since have been through all the Gastro tests. No luck other than they say I have a sliding Hernia.  The only thing I have found to help me get the food down when it is stuck is a gulp of Milk.  It will take it down every time.  My 18 year old son recommend the milk, because he sometimes has the same problem and he had discovered it worked for him.  Can't explain why it helps, but it will give immediate relief.  The only problem is that you don't always have milk available when the problem occurs.  I think I will have to start carrying milk with me whenever I go out to eat, I have discovered that some resturants do not carry milk.  Every other drink I have tryed has just increased the pain and sat on top of the blockage and usually the only thing I can get up,  is the liquid that was sitting on top.  Maybe this will help someone else.  Good luck to all of you.
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this is response to esphogeal spasms, I have had this problem for at least 15 years, I was treated for severe attack in ER several years ago,thought I was having a heart attack and was treated with a simple drug called phenergan. a simple 6.25 mg at the onset and within 20 minutes the pain subsides.. talk to your physican if your current mode of treatment is not effective. this is an old time treatment but it helps..
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About 4 years ago I started having chest pains. Since they seemed to happen only after eating I had a complete Upper and Lower GI, endoscopy from both directions and a complete heart work up. In the end they said that something was wrong with my heart although they could find nothing (but Nitrostat relieved the pain) and to quit smoking, lose weight etc.

I changed insurance which allowed me to go back to my family doctor of 30 years. In one examination he told me I had "esphogeal dyskiesnia" and put me on Propulsid. The problem went almost completely away within a day.

Now Propulsid is no longer available and I have been managing the pain myself. I can prevent attacks by eating small amounts and not walking around after I eat. I have also learned some techniques for voluntary control (I can relax).

Two weeks ago I developed a pain under my right sholder blade which is only relieved by lying on my right side. X-Rays and Sonograms are negative. The Doc is talking surgery but I told him only if it's life or death.

I am beginning to wonder if my new problem is related to the withdrawal from Propulsid.
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For the past year I have experienced a lump in my throat of varying degrees - from throat almost closing to the sensation of an apple core stuck in my throat.  This would progress throughout the day.  On waking there was little sensation, by the evening it was bad.

At the same time I experienced constant acid reflux - as though my insides were slowly being burned away.  My doctor diagnosed "globus histericus" and suggested hypnotherapy/psychotherapy for stress.  I was also prescribed LANSOPRAZOLE for the acid reflux.  The acid reflux disappeared almost immediately (I had previously been on Zantac with poor results.)  I have now noticed an improvement in the "globus" symptoms.  This may be due to the fact that I am no longer stressed out with acid reflux all the time.  I have not attended a psychotherapist, as I would rather deal with the "stress" myself.  I have been on the LANSOPRAZOLE medication for two weeks now and feel much better.
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Great info.  Does anyone also have lethargy with their reflux symptoms?  I can stand the mild burning, the lethargy is what affects me the most.  Docs have never heard of it.
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I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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Avatar universal
I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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Avatar universal
I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
Discussion is closed
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Avatar universal
I was looking at the messages and caught mine which was posted in May! I can
tell you guys that my symptoms are still present -- changing and getting
worse.
I have been experiencing mainly Shortness of breath -- seems not getting
enough air, together with symptoms of
     throat/upper chest discomfort (feels like the choking feeling you get
after strenous exercise). It usually stays long
     for hours at least, everyday for almost 9 months now. I even get this
feeling after only a hot shower. The problem
     is, this symptoms is WORSE when lying down with my neck flexed (like
lying on the sofa watching TV) or when I
     get my upper chest area squeezed (like when you turn the body from side
to side). I have chest pain also, Plus Back pain. Feels there is a big lump
compression the middle of
     chest -- that's what i am scared of. I now feel nauseaous too. It feels
some kind of spasms-- but is it GI or skeletalmuscular? I am worried some
kind of neuro problems which might cause these constant spasms eg MS? spine
problems?
I've seen quite a no. of specialist, done a no. of tests, and are still
waiting for tests.
Plus, I now get LOTS of burp, and the discomfort of the NEED TO BURP.
BURPING DAY AND NIGHT regardless of food.
I am pretty worried esp for my shortness of breath. Sinister Lung problem or
related? Neuro problems?
     Anything to do with GI problem?

     Need great help from anyone.
     I am getting so depressed and anxious-- for the whole of 9 months.
     pls email me: ***@****
     Many thanks.

     -J
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Avatar universal
READ ME PLEASE!!!!!
hello- this morning i had breakfast with someone close to me. after eating ( 26 yr old male ) he had spasms or a seizure for at least 10, 15 minutes. When the shaking stopped he said it was even more painful. It happens regularly after eating. he refuses to eat without drinking milk, which helps. but still who has a seizure after meals? and the pain i saw in his face. his hands were cold, he says he starts feeling freezing after every time it happens( every day ) I felt his heart racing. i don't want to lose him yet so please tell me what the hell it is because he won't go to the doctor------- ***@****
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My 18 year old son is currently undergoing testing for Acid Reflux.  He has severe hyperactive gag reflex. He gags on certain foods because of their texture.  He has no heartburn.  He also has the feeling of something being stuck in his throat and hard to get his breath.  He just took the barrium swallow test and the Dr. prescribed prisolec even though the Dr. does not thing he has GERD.  Does anyone out there have any information on where to go for help or treatment for Hyperactive Gag Reflex.  He has been doing this since age 3 and no Dr. has an answer for him.  Please help...Thanks...***@****
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All I can say is Ive been thare and tried everything you all have mentioned and then I found Axid. Yes Axid! none of the expensive drugs from the Dr. helped and not eating the wrong foods helped and as soon as I stop taking the Axid for more than a day the spasms come back.Axid has been a life saver for me.Now I can eat whatever I want and never have a spasm again as long as i take two a day.Give it a try what have you got ot lose? You can buy it over the counter and it really did work for me at least. Good Luck and God Bless you all.
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All I can say is Ive been there and tried everything you all have mentioned and then I found Axid. Yes Axid! none of the expensive drugs from the Dr. helped and not eating the wrong foods helped and as soon as I stop taking the Axid for more than a day the spasms come back.Axid has been a life saver for me.Now I can eat whatever I want and never have a spasm again as long as i take two a day.Give it a try what have you got ot lose? You can buy it over the counter and it really did work for me at least. Good Luck and God Bless you all.
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This is very interesting!  I have been having this problem with very bad chest and/or back pain after eating.  I've noticed that sometimes when I eat within about an hour or so I smell like undigested food or some type of bacterial infection.  It is very embarrassing and annoying.  My doctor does not believe me and has recommended Prozac.  Needless to say, I don't take the Prozac because i'm not nuts and what i'm experiencing is real.  Has anyone else experienced these symptoms or problems?  If so please email me at ***@****.
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Hello,
It is so good to have found this site . I was begining to think I
was crazy. I too have the constant belching, the pain in the shoulder, the rib cage,  all the symptoms thet seem to haunt all of you. There is one exception though, My pain and lump in throat feeling , and acidy feeling seem to be more on the right side and not on the left at all. I have had a breathing test on some kind of machine, a gall bladder scan, a lung x-ray and after the holidays an endoscopy. I've asked my Gastro Doc., to do a barium swallow ,as sometimes it seem that my throat just freezes up and food slams tight in there. Afew seconds later it releases. But heres the clincher.. it's only on the right side.
I was wondering if any one else has had this sensation?
could it be perhaps because I have a mild case of scolieosis?
When you get desparate ,I guess we all grasp for even the most "out there" possibilities.    Delilah Blue
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Thanks very much for all the information about esophageal spasms - it's a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was particularly interested to read the comments made by ejay, back in January, as his symptoms are most like mine.

I've been experiencing excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition, but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (heart burn) should start at the same time as the belching started.  Further evidence of a link between the two is that the activities which trigger belching, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, are also those which trigger heart burn.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines and have found that none of them are at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing  both the heartburn and the belching.
I've removed all the following things from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods, meat, vegetable protein (e.g. nuts and beans), citrus fruits and any foods containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcohol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching, possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is so relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching, possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay and from anyone else who can throw any light on this unusual illness.


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Thanks very much for all the information about esophagul spasm.  It was a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was especially interested to read the comments which ejay made back in January, since his symptoms are the same as mine.

I've had excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (ie heartburn) should have started at the same time as the belching did.  Further evidence that the belching is caused by reflux  is that the activities which trigger the heartburn, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, also trigger the belching.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, none of which were at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing both the heartburn and the belching.  I've removed all the following foods from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods,meat, vegetable protein (eg beans and nuts), citrus fruits and any food containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcolhol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching; possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is very relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching; possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay, and from anyone else who can throw light on this unusual illness.  Thanks

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Thanks very much for all the information about esophagul spasm.  It was a big relief to know that I'm not alone.  I was especially interested to read the comments which ejay made back in January, since his symptoms are the same as mine.

I've had excessive belching and heartburn for about two years now.  I was diagnosed as having reflux esophagus but was told that the belching was not caused by this condition but by swallowing air.  I don't accept the diagnosis of swallowing air as it's too great a co-incidence that the symptoms of reflux (ie heartburn) should have started at the same time as the belching did.  Further evidence that the belching is caused by reflux  is that the activities which trigger the heartburn, such as eating spicy foods or bending over, also trigger the belching.

I've tried a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, none of which were at all effective.  However, like ejay, I found that a bland diet was very helpful in reducing both the heartburn and the belching.  I've removed all the following foods from my diet: spicy foods, fatty foods,meat, vegetable protein (eg beans and nuts), citrus fruits and any food containing citric acid, hard cheese (I can eat low fat soft cheese), onions, garlic and alcolhol.

I've found that smoking pot will often stop me belching; possibly because my condition is aggravated by stress and smoking pot is very relaxing.

I also find it helpful to keep busy in the garden when I'm having an attack of belching; possibly because I get stressed about the fact that I'm belching if I just sit around doing nothing and this makes it worse.

I'd really like to hear from you again ejay, and from anyone else who can throw light on this unusual illness.  Thanks

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I've had the burning and the food sitting in the esophagus- had that happen 3 times and had to go to E.R.  Newest doc put me on Protonix and it worked great for several months but now I have this burping thing going on and I've never had that before.  Kind of that swirling feeling of liquid in my throat too- hard to sleep- anyways I read about a new procedure in this week's Woman' World- its called  the EndoCinch.  "Studies show it can end heartburn for up to 75% of patients and compared to traditional surgery for chronic heartburn, this procedure takes just 45 minutes and carried a much lower risk of complications" explains gastroenterologist Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D.  To find an Endo Cinch trained doctor near you call 1/800 826-2273.  The article also says of the over the counter meds Pepcid is 77% better than Zantac- keeps it under control for 9 hours and works within 1/2 hour of taking it.  Good luck!!  I am calling the 1/800 number on Tuesday!  Just got the magazine!  I'll let everyone know if I get it done!
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Thanks, Patty and to all those posting here. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL...

I read ejay's 1/2000 post and my gastro doc sounds just like his,i.e., uncaring, deaf, blaze, arrogant, cocky, etc. etc. I am in Houston and wonder if they are one in the same!!!! I see a new female gastro doc in a few weeks.  THANK GOD.  

Patty, on our local TV the other day, there was a Baylor Doc talking about a new procedure that a doc at the Mayo clinic was doing.  Is is non invasive and they go down much like a Endoscopy and put a few tiny stiches to keep the acid from coming back into the esophagus.  This is not for everyone but boy oh boy, does this sound like something I want to investigate. My %^#$%@#$^ Gastro doc said there was NOTHING out there to help folks like me, other than the meds, i.e. priolosec, prevacid, achifex of which I have tried and have worse side effects from these meds. OH...YES, this Male gastro doc did say that if I would MEDITATE and do daily YOGA, all my symtoms would disappear..... I told him that he was on the wrong page!

I am 62 years old and a retired CEO.  I will not take a back seat to rudness, unprofessionalism, etc. etc. I will not let any person intimidate me.

Thanks again, Patty for sharing this.  I will try to get the magazine today and I will call this number and discuss this with the new Female Gastroenterologist that I will be seeing.

P.S.  I will buy Pepcid today.  I was taking Zantac and this was helping me better than the proton pump inhibitors. BUT, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth.  No fun.  I hated to have to say Good Bye to my Almond Joys.  We made a great team.<g>
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GES & Fibromyalgy - I started with chest pains 3 years ago, have visited the ER numerous times with the "heart attack" even been flown there in a helicopter. Told I was "mad" and accepted hospitalistaion for 3 months in a German hospital (I only speak English) subject to psychotherapy every day (mental torture) and felt really mad when I got out. Put on all sorts of Medication that gave me side effects, had no help for 3 years, since had all symptoms of FMS and diagnosed as such. I go to a FMS clinic here in Munich this month and pray for some progress. In the mean time I still have to work, bring up a family and suffer constant back pain, weakness, chest pains etc... Your stories don't make me feel better since I would not wish such a life on anybody. However there does seem to be an overwhelming link between all these symtoms, why on earth can't medically trained experts simply listen a bit more before sending a person off for more tests etc.. Hope it works out for someof you soon.
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I can relate to Carol Bond's post about the torture she went through having the colonoscopy.

I also suffered torture and humility and basically was demoralized by the gastro doc, during a recent colonoscopy. I was suppose to be on versed and demerol with phenergam and this jerk decided to use fentynal with something else. I felt everything and cried out in pain.  I felt my rights as a patient per the AMA's Code of Ethics were violated.  

Every patient has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  I pray that this doctor and  the other jerks out there, have a time when they are placed in similar positions.  Then, they will know how we felt.

When my hubby had his colonoscopy a few weeks later by a different doctor (colon and rectal spec), the doctor told me that he would make sure my hubby was comfortable.  And, he did.  It was a breeze for him becuz the right meds were used apparently, and he had a wonderful and caring doctor.

Off my band wagon.

I am still suffering greatly with upper back burning and shorness of breath and burning reflux.  The Jerk that also did the EGD along with the colonoscopy does not know how to communicate with the patient.  Needless to say, this does not help a patient getting well or at least better.  I have tried the 3 proton pump inhibitors meds but to no avail.  This doc said I would feel better in 3 days and after 5 days he would switch me to another.

Well, I think I need to switch to another...Another doctor that  is. (-:  

I love reading this site (but do not love that so many here are suffering) as it provides other alternatives that people have tried and are trying. Networking is so important with other patients suffering the same and a GOOD Understanding Physican is the Frosting on the Cake.

May 2001 Be Healthier For All Of Us!






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hi, i have acid reflux to.IF YOU ARE TAKING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINE AND HAVE ACID REFLUX,DON'T TAKE CALCIUM BLOCKER. I WAS TAKING NORVASC FOR BLOOD PRESSURE. AND IT CAUSE ME TO HAVE A FAST HEART BEAT AND CAUSE MY ACID REFLUX TO  GET WORSE.
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Thanks, MHogan for this information.

I am not on BP meds but this will info may help others.  AND, I am finding other meds also may aggravate the Acid Reflux thus
making the patient think the reflux meds are not working and also
some of the Reflux Meds can cause side effects that make a person think they are worse.   This happened with me.

Thank God for sites like this.  We learn a lot.  Thanks again.
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I was here quite a few months ago for a similar posting called undiagnosed URQ pain. There were probably hundreds of responses, all the same or similar as these--the reflux, lump in throat, chest pain, etc. My story:

I don't smoke, drink, touch caffeine or artificial sweetners (I'm not some kind of health nut weirdo, I just don't like nutrasweet and caffeine affects me badly). And I drink tons of water and try to stay in shape. Had the flu in Sept. 1999. When I started getting over it, noticed the pressure in the chest that felt like a need to belch. Would relieve it for a few seconds, but repeated belching would just make it worse. Also had lump in throat feeling (on the right side). Dr could not find anything so referred me to ENT, who told me I looked fine but probably have acid reflux and put me on zantac. I had acid reflux problems back in 1995, but this was not the same. I didn't feel any acid coming up at all, but I took the zantac in hopes anyway. At first I thought I was a little better, but then it started to get worse, pressure in chest (on right side, sometimes more center) turning to pain that would radiate to my back; went to ER, and all tests for heart came back normal. was sent to a gastro doc who put me on prilosec. did not help. I had my gall bladder out in Jan 1999, so it wasn't that. Endoscopy said gastritis/GERD, but all other tests came back normal. Upped my dose of prilosec, no better. Upped again, no better. Doc had no clue, didn't even know that the lump in throat thing was considered a symptom of GERD (I had to find that out on the net). Meanwhile, I started to feel achy in my joints about 3 months after all this sarted. Dr finally decided it wasn't my stomach at all but something else that he couldn't help me with, maybe my heart (which i had had tests done and all were fine). I did not go back to that idiot. I weaned myself off the prilosec slowly, as I could no longer digest anything since I was on such a high dose. I had a lot of reflux while doing that. Finally got to the point were I was taking zantac every other day for reflux; chest pains exactly the same as when I was more highly medicated. Sometimes they radiate down my arm, sometimes up into my jaw. I have heard that these can all be symptoms of fibromyalgia, and that CFS is closely related (which would explain lethargy--which I felt at first, too). I never got to the rheumatologist, though, since I got pregnant. So now I am not on anything, (and the pain was unbearable sometimes in the beginning--I was taking all sorts of painkillers before the pregnancy) but as time went on I think I learned to relax a little better, and my reflux eventually went away (though it is back now, but only because I am so far along in the pregnancy).

Here I will put in a note on stress--there is no way I believe that stress caused this horrid thing (I know it came after that flu I had), but it can make it worse--particularly the stress of not knowing what is wrong with you. Therefore, I would recommend an antidepressant to anyone able to take one (I was one one for years for an unrelated condition, and was about to restart taking another before the baby), especially if you are highly anxious about it. Paxil I hear works best for anxiety, but it also comes with a large weight gain (which might work for those of you who have lost weight). If it gives you a little peace of mind, it's worth it. Anyway, since I've been pregnant, my symptoms were much less for the month I was on vacation from my stressful business.

As for diet, I have discovered that ice cream does me in--it seems to be the temperature, not the fat, though. In milkshake form (one of the few things I could keep down during morning sickness) it doesn't bother me at all. Small meals help sometimes, and any form of pepper I am now highly sensitive to (the paprika in cheesits burns my throat); don't know if this is a pregnancy thing or a reflux thing. Fat content doesn't seem to affect it at all, and sometimes the pain comes on when I haven't eaten, although it's more often after I have.

A note on sleep: I always felt really bad when I wasn't getting enough sleep (another fibromyalgia link, possibly). But since I've been pregnant, I have forced myself to get more than adequate amounts and let my business suffer a little instead. I really think this has helped, although that was never my intention!

Anyway, I will check out the fibromyalgia thing as soon as I am able; I still have a couple of months to go before the baby is born. Rheumatoid problems are rampant in my family so I know of a rheumatologist who should listen, I hope, since my mother sees her often. I suggest everyone with a similar problem get evaluated for such a thing if possible, especially if you have achy joints. I have flare up points in my shoulders and hips; but when this started my whole neck and shoulders felt on fire.

I know there are things I'm forgetting, but it's been a long time since I've seen a doctor for this and a while until I can again, so I try not to think about it too much.

Good luck to everyone; remember that just because it didn't work for someone else does not mean it won't work for you. So be willing to try out new things, if they're safe, anyway. Zantac happens to work better for me than pepsid, but when I had my reflux problems 5 years ago, pepsid worked fine. Things change, even for yourself. So be willing to give things a try and don't give up (I came quite close to it before I got pregnant--I was thinking maybe I'd go to medical school and solve the problem myself, but that would take years ;). Try to get more sleep and what the heck, go for massage therapy! Me, I would give up cable tv to be able to afford something like that on a regular basis, if I hadn't already given cable up to afford other things. I read a lot and that relaxes me a great deal, especially now that I have trimmed back my business to allow a little more leisure time. Try to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible, since the stress from this medical problem isn't going away, and you really don't need any more (easier said than done, I know). Again, good luck to everyone and be sure to share any thing that seems to help.
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I had no idea there were so many people with the same symptoms as mine.  I've never visited a health website before   Its mind-boggling.  But my symptoms are EXACTLY the same as E-bays.  No real discomfort, except a general feeling occasionally of nausea, BUT CONSTANT belching  It never stops.  I have had the up and down tests and was diagnosed with Barrets disease.  But as I don't feel any real discomfort except the above and sometimes just plain weariness, I just can't believe this.  

I'm really curious, as e-bay posted his note a year ago, if he has found any relief.  i came to this site hoping to find relief but it seems to be as elusive to y'all as it is to me.  All I've gleaned so far from the site is cutting out all food -- almost -- and taking cayenne, apple pectin, cayenne pepper, axid and pepcid.  Anything else?  I've been the Zantac and Prylosec route and have been on metocloproamide for a few days with no apparent relief.

What happened to e-bay?????
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my message has not been posted.  It took effort and was a first time thing.
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I don't know if I have esophageal spasms or what?  Within hours after my gallbladder surgery, 3 years ago, I was awakened by this awful pain that started under my ribs and radiated up my chest.  I rang for the nurse and couldn't speak or barely breathe.  I was so frightened I had to practically beg her to take my blood pressure because I thought I was having a heart attack.  The nurse had no bed side manner at all!!  Since then I have had repeated attacks mostly in the night.  I am awakened with my heart racing and the feeling of a stomach ache coming on.  I get up and go to the bathroom and realize that I am having one of these attacks again.  I have severe pain in my chest and cannot breathe or speak.  I sweat profusely and shake and shiver like I'm freezing in between attacks.  They usually last for about 5 hours.  All I can do is sit very still and try my best to take the pain.  I ended up in the er last summer with an attack that started while I was driving home from the grocery store.  Thankfully I had another adult with me and got to the er. My kids thought mommy was going to die. (I sure did feel that way).  anyway, the shot me up with numerous doses of demerol and ativan until the spasms stopped, about 5 hours later.  All kinds of tests were done and the only thing that showed up were my liver enzymes were elevated.  Since then I've had an ERCP and my sphincter was found normal.  they put me on Levsin and a very low dose of ELAVIL.  I still get the onset of these attacks but I take a dose of Levsin and then 10-15 minutes later take a second dose.  Usually the attack does not progress into the severe state.  I am at a loss of what is actually happening to my body during one of these attacks.  I am guessing esophageal spasm maybe?  Could esophageal spasms cause elavated liver enzymes??  Could all this be related to my surgery 3 years ago?   If anyone has experienced this same pattern please feel free to email me with any suggestions or reccomendations.  I suppose I will be living off Levsin for the rest of my life.  I don't ever want to go through one of the attacks again!  I sympathize with everyone!!!
***@****
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this is so crazy-i thought i was the only person in the world that had the feeling of a lump in there throat! i have expelled so much time and energy and money to this with no resolve.
it all started one morning in june 1999 for no reason i woke up and felt like there was something stuck in my throat.i even had to take an extensive leave of absense from work because of it.i would take panic attacks left and right.i was very scared to be left alone with my children for fear that i would pass out.my energy levels are depleeting rapidly.as is our bank account due to numerous visits to the local emergency rooms over this problem without having any insurance.i have been on steroids,anxiety meds,pain meds,antibiotics,stomach meds,etc...
i AM a walking drug store at times and i hate it. will we ever feel normal again?
ive been through the bloodtests,the endoscopy,the barrium swallow,the upper g.i,stress tests,thyroid scans,therepy!!!!!!!!!!
i have lost alot of faith in the medical society-- why cant i get an answer? i feel like they arent hearing what im trying to tell them or that they think im IMAGINING it or that im just plain CRAZY!!!!!! i know how i feel and it is so hard to explain to others that have never experienced it!! i have been so afraid that i have some sort of cancer and they just cant find it.im only 30 years old and have 2 terrific sons and a great husband, im afraid of dying and leaving them over this feeling ive been having for almost two years now!
i hardly ever even mention it to my family anymore since there is nothing that they can do about it and no sense in worrying them, but it is always there-never goes away-it may ease up a little but always there. im about at my wits end with it.
thank you for reading this and if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please contact me at ***@**** YOU!
WISH YOU ALL THE BEST-I KNOW HOW YOU ALL FEEL!!!!!!!!!!YOU'RE NOT ALONE
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My wife has suffered from all the symptoms described in above comments and have gone through all the tests described above and tried all the medication normally prescribed.
The esophagus passes thru the respiratory diaphragm (a bundle of muscles) before entering the stomac. If the diaphragm goes into a spasm for any reason, (which can be stress,imflammation of the diapragm or esophagus, or a trapped nerve), the sphincter valve between the stomac and esophagus does not operate properly and gastro reflux and difficulty in swallowing and discomfort results.
If the nerve between the brain and diaphragm is disturbed, typically where it exits the spinal column at thoracic vertabrae T8 similar symptoms will occur.
The suggested solutions can therefore be (a)to check for inflammation of the diaphragm, esophagus or peritonium in the area, (b)visit a chiropractor to reset the spine and relieve pinched nerves, (c) massage the diaphragm by applying suitable pressure all round the abdomen just below the rib cage until relief is obtained, especially if shortage of breath is experienced which very often confirms spasm in diaprhagm.
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I have also been experiencing what i think is esophageal spasms or something, no one seems to have the answers in the professional field. this is a very new ordeal for me and i have only experienced this for about a month now. i thought at first it was my heart. was awaken one night from a deep sleep with chest pain (or just below the rib cage) and all the way thru the shoulder blades. thought i was having a heart attack, went to the e.r. and was given an aspirin, 2 doses of nitroglycerin, iv's and was told it was not my heart and needed to see my family physician that day. the nitroglycerin seemed to help a little but gave me a slight headache. i then went to my dr. and he to gave me 2 more doses of nitro, which seemed to help but did not get rid of the pain for good. he gave me a script for prilosec which i took but did not help (i even took mylanta with the prilosec) with no relief. went back to him and he upped the dosage with no results. finally had to beg for a gallbladder sonogram which checked out fine, he then referred me to a gastro dr. who recommended i have a egd (endoscopy) that was performed and he found a hiatal hernia and put me on aciphex twice a day. still no relief, but the pain was worse at night(could not sleep walked the floors and held my chest tight bent double.) he then ordered a ct scan of my chest , all good. still no relief and this was effecting my job, could not work, he then questioned me about the stress in my life, didn't feel i had any was doing just fine, had been worse. he then made me feel like it was in my head. and then after that i developed a rash (welp like with itching and redness) went to my family dr. and he said he had never seen this type of rash (no known allergies, no new foods, etc.) gave be a 5 day supply of predisone and zyrtec and told me to go home because he didn't know if i was contagious or not. just recently went to e.r. with chest pain bent double again and they admitted me and gave me pain relievers, have had a hiatus scan (good results), lab tests, xrays, stool specimans, (all good) was scheduled for a ct of the abdomen but was unable to perform this tests due to iv had filterated into my arm and they could not get another vein ( 3 people tried) and i refused for them to keep probing on my arms. finally told the dr. to let me go home because the pain had presided. but that is just it the pain has never went away but some is worse than others. they have rescheduled the ct of abdomen but don't know if i want to do that or not. really disgusted at this time. the most common response i get from most people including some friends is (stress related) or just in my head. it's like one of the other people stated i know my body and this ain't normal, never experienced this before. several months ago i had taken restoril for about a month for insomnia but i quit that because i did not want to get addicted to that stuff. if the pain would go away i could sleep just fine. it doesn't seem to matter what i eat or drink, so i am totally confused. the pain is excruiating and i don't know what to do. sometimes i too get the feeling that my throat is closing up but i really don't get short of breath. i thought one time i had a collapsed lung (have had one in the past) but did not experience the tingling sensation in my arm or the s.o.b. and the inability to take in air. just went back to work today but don't know for how long. usually i can just clutch my chest real tight and bend double and hope it goes away. my sister has fibermyalgia (could this be related) husband wants me to take restoril again to see if the symptoms goes away says maybe i shouldn't have gone off that by myself. don't know about that, don't like relying on stuff like that. i was overwhelmed by this sight, i am so glad i am not alone. does muscle relaxers seem to help anyone, need something FAST. so actually so far according to all the test i'm fine just for the hiatal hernia which the dr says he does not think this is causing that much pain. NEED ANSWERS. thanks alot!
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My Husband has had esophagael spasms for about two years, he was seeing a dr about it and heartburn, she had prescibed prilosec, tagamet and other various things.Also he was complaining of a painfull leg. 05/04/00 he broke his leg where that same complaint was,he was told it was a spontaneous break? Two more months went by misdianosed by 11 other Doctors.Finally we went to an orthopedic who dianosed him with esophageal cancer metastasied to the bone. Since then he has had brain and liver cancer, but still has the liver cancer. I have found out that just because you take antiacids it will not nessaccerily take away all stomach acids that can eventually cause cancer. So get a through check up and a second opinion. By the way my husband is only 46 and has always been very healthy.
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So much for not wanting to go through an attack again!!!,  Yesterday I was driving my husband to the airport and had to pull over because I felt one of these attacks (spasms) starting.  I had already taken two doses of Levsin and the third pill my husband put under my tongue and rushed me to the nearest ER which was about 20 minutes away!!  Needless to say, about 1 minute before reaching the hospital ER, I started to feel some relief and just started to shake uncontrolably.  The shaking lasted about 1 hour and then I was fine and drove home.  I was extremely exhausted from the whole ordeal and went to bed early and today I feel much better but I am very causious.  i will not drive anywhere alone anymore because I am frightened of these spasms.  Has anyone looked up "achalasia or vigorous achalasia"??
Sounds like what I am experiencing, now I just have to find the right doc. to check me out.  I had to actually ask for a blood test at the ER they only checked me with an EKG.  After that they didn't visit me until I walked out. Hope I don't have to use that place again. Anyone have any suggestions or comments , please feel free to let me know>>  Thanks,  Kristin
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I started having symtoms a year ago in March when I had to have female surgery.  At first I thought it might be due to muscle tension in my chest area because I could not sit, I had to lay down and I could not move or roll over for approximately 2 weeks because the paid was so great due to my surgery.  The thing that scared me the most was when I began to feel a "strangeness" (lack of a better word to describe) in my chest that felt like my muscles tightening and like something was moving.  It wasn't so much a pain as an ache.  When this happened it scared me and I had the classic "impending doom" kind of feeling and became anxious.  I have also felt intermittent jabs of pain in my upper chest area after this happens.  It's not all the time but it has happened enough times in the past year to make me worry.  I try not to consider myself a hypochondriac.  I too suffered from panic attacks 23 years ago and read Claire Weekes books the same as REYNA (hope you're reading this) and actually met her via the phone and talked with her.  Anyway, I also suffer occassionally from belching, acid reflux, regurtitation, etc.  I notice I do more so in times of stress and when some of my "panic attack days" symptoms return.  My main concern is I want to know if anyone else had had this feeling like something is moving in your chest.  It comes on suddenly, while sitting.  Not precipitated by bending down, heavy lifting etc.  Reyna if you've read this I'd like to converse with you.  Claire Weekes was my savior.
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For anyone who needs some info., I was recently at my doc.s office and asked for the liquid form of Levsin.  I am on that because of esophageal spasms or spasm of the gut.  That was one of the last diagnoses the gastro doc gave me last summer.  I take a pill form dose during the day and carry a vial of liquid form with me at all times.  I do feel alittle more secure having the liquid within reach if I should have another attack or should I say WHEN I have another attack.  Weird how this happens to me when I least expect it.  I haven't had an attack since last summer besides the one two weeks ago.  \sometimes it will be a few weeks or sometimes months in between attacks.  Has anyone ever heard of spasm of the gut?  Is it for real?  Or is this another way of a doctor telling me it's all in my head??!!  
(or should I say chest!)  Well for those of us who actually do suffer, thanks for being an ear to tell my troubles to.  It is nice knowing that some people in this world can actually relate.
thanks
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After a full year of suffering with chronic "acid reflux" and taking prilosec as needed, which became more and more frequent, I finally sought another opinion and had an endoscopy performed.  The result was a diagnosis of Barretts Esophagus, and fortunately it is non-cancerous at this point.  I am being medicated with Prevacid, taking medication for anxiety, and praying alot.  Does anyone have any experience with this diagnosis, if so, could you share with me.  What can I expect? I have been told once diagnosed and treated, either with medication or surgery, chances of cancer are slimmed considerably.  
Thanks.
Rosebee
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I TOO HAVE BEEN HAVING BASICALLY THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS MOST OF YOU. I HAVE CHEST PAINS, ACROSS MY COLLAR BONES, AND THESE SHARP STINGING PAINS FROM MY CHEST TO MY BACK USUSALLY IN MY LEFT BREAST. DR.DID STRESS TEST ETC. AND SAID IT WAS NON CARDIAC.HAD AN EGD AND DR. SAID I HAD THE ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS.HE CHANGED MY PRILOSEC, PRESCRIBED YEARS AGO FOR GERD, TO PROTONIX AND STARTED ME ON BUSPAR FOR ANXIETY. HAVE RECENTLY QUIT DRINKING CAFFIENE AND TRY TO AVOID HOT OR COLD FOODS. WENT ON A LOW FAT DIET BECUASE OF CHLOSETROL PROBLEM AND LOST 25 POUNDS.MY PAINS SEEM TO COME ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK AND NOTHING SEEMS TO RELIEVE THEM.I DO HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A GASTRO DR.NEXT WEEK AND HOPEFULLY HE CAN GIVE ME SOME ANSWERS. THANKS FOR LISTENING.
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i have the same thing and sometimes i wonder how bad is this belching for me on my throat .and i know its not good on your heart .i also get dark circle under my eyes. sometimes when i eat meat its harder to get up and i feel really bad that i have to put my finger down to make it come up .but you know when i get it out of me. i feel betterand my stomach shrinks and is not bloted.i really would like to eat and not worry about it comming up.                           thanks
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I thought I was the only one in the world with spasms!  I'm seeing a doctor and for right now, before any more testing, he has me on nitroglycerine (whenever I have a spasm).  Does anyone know why he gave me that medicine?  Kind of spooky if you ask me!
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A related discussion, Breathing problem was started.
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A related discussion, Gastroesophageal reflux Disease was started.
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A related discussion, Slight squeeze, upper chest was started.
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